I stayed in New York City for two days. By day two, I have experienced a full-set of casual rejections, from restaurants refusing to let me charge my phone on their premise, to ferry boats not allowing me to take pictures on deck. I realized that in a big city where people from all over the world visit and ask for resources and opportunities, rejection is a much more common occurrence than in Austin. Before I got dispirited and started disliking New York City as a whole, I thought about applying the principle of Rejection Therapy and take a negative part about life and have fun with it. Therefore, I came up with this challenge for myself – how many rejections can I fit in a New York minute?
In Triumph of the City, author Edward Glaeser found that cities’ population density is positively correlated with per capita productivity and wage growth. In another word, the more people a city holds, the richer each person in that city gets. The hypothesis is that more people lead to more innovation and collaboration. Then I had this thought come to my mind – what about rejection? My New York City experience told me that having more people might lead to having more rejections. Does having more rejections make people tougher and more innovative, since getting an acceptance now requires more work and better ideas? I don’t know the answer, but it is an idea worth exploring.
Learning: 1. When feeling down with a negative part about life, try turning the table and have fun with it. It might be the medicine needed.
2. If you live in a big city or work in a tough profession, where rejections are more common, consider it a blessing rather than curse, since it raises the barrier of entry and force you to work harder. Once you get an acceptance, it would be easier to thrive.